Gaultier says the best way to make your photos stand out is to focus on the transformation between the Before and After images required for the competition. “Make a big change. Utilize the extensions to their full potential. In my experience, a more significant impact can be made [with extensions] than cutting and colouring. You can start with hair that’s a few inches long and end with hair well past the waistline. You can add colour without touching the model’s actual hair. Use all options extensions can offer in terms of transformation and impact.”
2. Plan a cohesive collection.
Although you need to create a short, long and avant garde hairstyle for the competition, Jessee recommends researching your looks early and finding a theme for all of your images using tear sheets from magazines and other sources. “Group your tears by finding a common thread and then narrow down your ideas into a cohesive collection. I find it helpful to also sketch out my ideas,” she says.
3. Set yourself up for success on shoot day.
A little preparation before shoot day can go a long way to helping your vision come together. “As a basic rule, the most outstanding photos have the best models. However, the best models often do not have the best hair,” warns Jessee. Always brings extra extensions to set
“If extensions are preinstalled, on shoot day you definitely want to bring your scissors,” says Gaultier. You’ll need them for touch ups and blending.
4. Document the process.
Not only are photos showing the application method required for the competition, but these images can also be used after the competition is over to help promote your work. “Whenever possible, I like to have step-by-step photos taken as I work. These can be used later in articles and how-to blogs to explain the process,” says Jessee.
5. Focus on technique.
Even though your work will only be seen from one angle, focusing on installation technique is important. “You want it to be seamless, natural and flawless so the judges aren’t really even sure they’re wearing extensions,” explains Gaultier. “Watch your connections and make sure it’s all blended, even if you’re using punches of colour. Have it become a natural part of the models hair and the flow of the style. The cut is very important, but the installation and blending are equally as important.”
6. Don’t forget the basics.
“I think it is important to keep in mind the key elements of design such as having a great shape, interesting texture, variation in tone and strong color,” advises Jessee. “When styling the hair, pay close attention to your finish and let your creativity run wild.”
Photos courtesy of Simplicity Hair Extensions; Styling: Vivienne Mackinder; Simplicity Extensions Application: Rosemary Tejeda and Avian King; Makeup: David Maderich; Styling: Montgomery Frazier; Photos: Roberto Ligresti.